sometimes, the sheep is real

My cousin Margot was about five years old when we attended a family wedding at a farm outside of Madison, WI. She lives in an urban area, and got very excited when she saw a sheep.

She announced, “Mom, when we get home, I want a real, NOT PRETEND, live sheep.”

Is it possible that being an artist feels like this to other people too? Does it feel like you are walking around with a stuffed animal and that suddenly one day, maybe your sheep will be real? Your art work will be real?

I asked Emily Wexler this question.

the thing about art and the thing that the practice of making and performing it is, that we keep trying to make the sheep real. sometimes it is. seriously. sometimes the sheep is real and everyone sees it.

Em Wex


the ocean blue

and then i became a mermaid

we could reverse those waters to see how the precipitation
collected from such a drought
review the sickness below the gut
not on purpose but on accident,

i would fledge it out
mock diseased
not on purpose did i swim to the bottom
where it is colder than your arctic freeze,

warmth settle between the soft blond hairs on my arm
up on the stand
backdive here you go where the warmth can
organize its part
below this life
i went
not on purpose but on accident

confused without beauty
what kind of dangers lie beneath
fish brainedsloppy
tongued heart
am sworn to secrecy
by the warmth that lives below

what fun

she learned such bravery
or apology

the volume had its cost
such an economy
would not sustain its loss

beauty never tells
how to
its deed

capacious as the sea
celestial break broke through
the sun’s light on the top
how could you deny
such ocean blue?

without incident, finally
and then i became a mermaid
and then i was free                  —       emily wexler

Youthful People

I would just like to take a moment to call BULLSHIT on the notion that the younger generations of humans on this earth are apathetic souls with nothing to do but stare at their phones. Just because they are staring at their phone doesn’t mean they are inactive. Maybe they are doing something incredible, like starting a revolution.


I recently spent two days visiting the beautiful campus of Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Out of 1500 students, 350 of them are enrolled in the University’s rigorous music conservatory. While I was there, a student was rehearsing on the stage of Lawrence’s Memorial Chapel. I walked into the Chapel from the rear of the building, aware of this rehearsal and this young woman who was  SHREDDING Bizet on her violin. I experienced a sort of recessional for two as my host and I walked to the front of the Chapel, the music emanating to the white walls and empty royal blue seats behind us.

I was so moved by her commitment.

Photo by Engberg Anderson